I recently came across a pretty cool plugin called Theme Tweaker, which basically lets you alter the colors of your theme without touching your CSS code. I thought I would go over this plugin in a review post. In this review, you’ll learn:
- How to install the plugin in WordPress 2.7+
- How to identify and change various colors to your liking
- How to update your stylesheet with changes
- How to generate a custom child theme on the fly
And now, onto the review…
How To Install Theme Tweaker
Luckily, this plugin is available in the official WordPress plugin directory. Therefore, it is readily available to be installed automatically through your WP admin panel.
Just search “theme tweaker” and go through the install process. It should be pretty straightforward.
Go ahead and activate the plugin. Now that the plugin is successfully installed, let’s take it for a spin.
Changing Theme Colors
Now it’s time to put this plugin into action. I’ll be using the Lightweight theme for example purposes. This theme is completely imageless, and all colors are handled through CSS, so it will work well with this demonstration.
To change the colors, go to Appearance -> Theme Tweaker. On this page, you’ll be able to change individual colors using a HEX code or color picker. You can also change all the colors at once using a predefined color preset with the buttons on the right.
With the predefined color presets, you can do the following with the click of a button:
- Invert colors
- Black and white
- B&W negative (inversion of above)
- Sepia effect
- Random colors
My favorite of these would probably have to be the random colors preset, since you can completely change the look of your blog theme with the click of a button. Okay, that’s the last time I say “click of a button.”
The above is the result of the random colors preset. That’s pretty ugly, I know…but with enough random color clicks, something semi-good looking would probably come out of it.
Saving Your Changes
After you’ve picked your desired colors, you have a few options after this for saving your changes. By default, the color changes are only visible to you: the administrator. If you want to display them to all your viewers, you can simply select the “Activate the new color scheme” checkbox.
For a more permanent solution, you can either generate a replacement stylesheet or a child theme. Picking either of these options will prompt you to download a style.css file. The result of the “Tweaked Stylesheet” could replace the current stylesheet of your theme, however I’d recommend the child theme generator.
With the style.css file created from the child theme generator, all you need to do is create a new directory on your /wp-content/themes/ folder, upload the stylesheet there, and then activate the new child theme in your admin panel.
All in all, I think this is a great plugin, especially useful to people who aren’t comfortable with manually editing CSS code themselves. The color picker and color presets make it really easy to change the colors of your blog. Although I used it to completely change the entire look, it could also be used for changing minor details, like link colors, etc. The child theme generator feature is also pretty cool.
Anyway, hope you liked the review. If you wanted to change the colors of your blog, would you consider using a plugin like this, or would you rather just edit the stylesheet (or make a child theme) manually? Let me know what you think in the comments.
Oh yeah, and if anyone wants the ugly Lightweight child theme (pictured above) by any chance, download it here.
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